What Happens To Your Body And Brain If You Don't Get Sleep
Stay Awake for Mental Health Benefits
We’re officially living in the world’s most exhausted nation. New research reveals that 37% of Brits don’t feel they get enough shuteye – which could make tonight’s tossing and turning all the more disheartening.
But accepting the inevitability of the occasional sleepless night could actually put your risk of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and other mental health concerns, to bed.
(Related: Sleep 8 hours for a bulletproof body)
A study published in the journalNeuronfound that pulling a single all-nighter – be it to meet tomorrow’s 9am deadline or simply binge on Netflix – can swap your winter blues for an entire month with more spring in your step.
Scientists have discovered that the receptors in your brain’s frontal lobe, which is targetted by medication such as tricyclic antidepressants, can also be activated by sleep deprivation.
(Related: How to get better sleep)
It sounds counterintuitive, but manipulating the body’s natural circadian rhythm can lighten your mood when faced with the bleak reality of going to work and returning home in the dark. It is this lack of light exposure that can worsen the effects of SAD.
Shorter days reduce your body’s production of the happy hormone serotonin, which can leave you with a dark disposition.
While the initial fix of one month may seem short-term, wake therapy has been linked to more long-lasting improvements for those diagnosed with depression. Now, we’re not downplaying the importance of your relationship with the sandman, the health benefits of which are well-documented.
Video: Stay awake for mental health benefits | by Fresh Life
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